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Triesman ready to take on Premier League again

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David Bond | 09:41 UK time, Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The former Football Association chairman David Triesman has kept his head down since he was forced to resign from his dual role as head of the English governing body and the 2018 World Cup bid last May.

Apart from the odd interview following England's humiliation, he hasn't said too much about the controversial circumstances of his departure nor his true feelings about the game he was so heavily involved with.

The first independent chairman appointed by the FA following Lord Terry Burns' review on the way the FA is run (six years ago now and counting), Triesman's arrival in football was supposed to bring the sort of change that has been talked of for years.

Instead, it has felt like the FA has gone backwards as the Premier League clubs become richer and richer and ever more powerful.

Lord David Triesman

Triesman resigned as chairman of England's 2018 World Cup bid last May

On Tuesday, he is expected to tell MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee that the FA is unfit for purpose, riven by faction and controlled ultimately by the Premier League.

It will not be the first time he has taken on the League over its influence. But now out of the game he may feel even less constrained and able to speak his mind on the problems which have contributed to football being described by the sports minister Hugh Robertson as the worst run sport in the country.

As I have posted here in the past, this inquiry is potentially a pre cursor for a more serious government intervention in the sport. As Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore pointed out yesterday in a BBC interview, the committee is not a court, the game will not have to abide by its decisions.

But if the game is shown in a bad light and if the MPs produce a withering report on the state of the sport then it will be impossible for the government to stand back and do nothing, no matter how reluctant deep down they may be. Contained in the coalition agreement, signed about the same time Triesman was leaving Wembley, is a clear commitment to look at the way football is governed.

So, as the MPs begin their eight week inquiry, here are five questions for starters:

1. Why, so many years after the FA structural review carried out by Lord Burns, is there still reluctance to appoint two non executive independent directors to the FA's main board?

2. Is the Premier League too influential on the board of the FA?

3. Should the FA, Premier League and Football League be reconstituted as one ruling body for the whole sport similar to the model in Germany?

4. Should English football introduce club ownership rules similar to those in Germany which restrict one person or investor from owning more than 49%?

5. Should there be limits on the number of foreign players who can play for Premier League clubs, thereby helping develop young English talent and boost the England team?


  • Comment number 1.

    This is a great article David. The Premier League holds massive sway over the game in this country and the FA because of its financial muscle and global influence.

    With regards to your questions, number 4 and 5 are interesting. I think the German ownership rules are a much better way of doing things, and if the FA can help our game become more like the Bundesliga I would be very pleased. I don't think a limit on foreign players would help the English national team at all. We need a serious changes in grass roots and coaching for our national team to improve in my opinion. If our players are good enough, they will break through into Premier League teams foreigners or no.

  • Comment number 2.

    Triesman has no credibilty after his outlandish allegations against Spain and Russia scuppered the England bid for 2018. He should be banished from the game and his peerage removed, forthwith.

  • Comment number 3.

    couldn't disagree more with point 5. If the point of the football clubs and authority is to create a strong national team then fine, but the clubs first and only priority is to win competitions themselves. Constraints of trade restricting players on the basis of nationality WILL weaken the clubs as they will not be able to select on the basis of ability. Also due to the need to maintain the seperate national FA's Scotish, Welsh and Irish (north and south) will be foreigners, which would disproportionally effect our clubs more than our European rivals. When there was a limit previously this was the case, and the England national side was still rubbish, so I feel that not only is it not good for the clubs it is probably not good for England either. England need to get their head from where it is, and start to develop the coaching and structure to develop English players and if they are good enough the clubs will buy and play them.

  • Comment number 4.

    Regardless of one's views on Triessman the points raised for consideration by MPs are entirely valid.

    1. The recomendations should be put into place immediately
    2. Yes without question, a strong FA should be keeping it in check and ensuring ridiculous ideas like the 39th game are banished.
    3. Yes, this would also sort out the premier league
    4. Yes but how would you go about making the likes of the Glazers and Mike Ashley relinquish 51% of their ownership. Presumably this could only be done over time and applied moving forward rather than to existing arrangements.
    5. No as it would be illegal under EU law but the 90 minute rule on academy graduates should be removed to encourage top clubs to source domestic talent.

  • Comment number 5.

    I can't help thinking that the appointment of David Bernstein as opposed to David Dein, is to appease and assuage the clubs in the premier league?

  • Comment number 6.

    ................ Government intervention could lead to suspension by FIFA ?

    Just maybe this is the way to get FIFA to reform, yes they have suspended nations but irrespective of our standing within the FIFA executive, if England were suspended, they would be suspending a major player in terms of stature. Now some would welcome that no doubt but I suspect that many would side with England (Australia and America for two, yes they are not great football nations BUT if unrest develops across the football world at an England suspension, maybe two birds would be killed with one stone

    1. FA/Premier league are either abolished and replaced by 1 organisation whose motto is "Its the peoples game, never forget it" , or the Premiership is brought into line as in Germany, Deutsche FA is in control, the Bundesliga is not. At the moment the tail is wagging the dog here(more groin and calf strains this week, oh is it international week ?)

    2. Reforming FIFA as an indirect result of reforming here will surely ultimately benefit us, who knows come 2030, we may put a bid in for the World Cup and win it ?

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    For points 2-4 the answer is yes but I don't see any way of legally implementing 3-4

  • Comment number 9.


  • Comment number 10.

    Surprise surprise a Chelsea fan wants to keep the status quo where a club on the verge of insolvency gets bailed out by a Russian billionaire and given an unfair advantage over the clubs who are left to survive on their own means. If there were proper rules in place on debt and club ownership this sort of thing would be stamped out properly and the challengers to Manchester United & Arsenal at the top would be those who built their clubs up properly like Spurs, Villa & Everton who've over recent years had their ambitions dashed by Chelsea and latterly Manchester City's financial doping.

    The Premier League was doing just fine without this sort of takeover. Manchester United had won a treble, Arsenal had built sides that became invincible. Leeds & Newcastle were taking their exciting young sides into the Champions League.

  • Comment number 11.


    I think you are way out on this one! I suggest the following questions/solutions will be more likely.

    1. Is the Premier League a greedy, self absorbed, morally extinct, rich man's plaything? Controlled almost totally by Sky TV, an exponent of propaganda and overhyped and now little more than a Business profiting on the addicted fans?

    Answer: Yes

    Which leads too......

    2. How can the Government gain a larger chunk of all this money and influence, whilst (a) trying to stay within FIFA regulations on government interference and (b) Trying to convince the average working fan that they have their best interests at heart.

    Sadly football in this country has been destroyed by Greed, Sky TV, Rupert Murdoch etc. The game is now a commercial beast, where fleecing fans for tickets, shirts etc is far more important than winning trophies.

    Now some may call this progress, but really all it's just the death of the game we love.

    To expect self serving bodies such as the Government, FIFA, The Premier League/Sky to ever have a positive influence is very naïve.

  • Comment number 12.

    1. football and any other sport should be run by people who know about the sport and have a vested interest. Do we want our banks in this country run by politicians or tax collectors? I don't think so, therefore football should be run by people who know football

    2. The premier league have a vested interest in the game, and so have the right to fight for their cause. Its up to the FA to get the right balance its ranks to be noted as a credible body

    3. This would be a good gesture if all parties involved made the decision themselves along with the PFA, and not by any outside individual or body such as politicians

    4. We are a capital economy, if a single individual can afford to own 100% and run a football club meeting all sporting, financial and legal obligations, so be it

    5. Limits per game would help and boost morale of young talent and the future of the national team. There is already an immigration limit in this country, which filters down many areas in the economy such as education and employment. Football (sport) should be no exception to the rule

  • Comment number 13.

    Just a couple of points of accuracy re. questions 3 and 4.

    3) The German FA (DFB) does not run German football on its own. The running of the Bundesliga (divisions 1 and 2) is delegated to the German League (DFL), quasi a Premier League equivalent. The BIG difference is the contractual arrangement between the DFB and DFL that sets out in black and white each party's rights and obligations (including financial ones). As far as I am aware, there is no such formal contract between our FA and the EPL. Perhaps if there was, the EPL wouldn't behave so arrogantly!

    4) The German 50+1 rule does NOT say that one investor cannot own over 49% of a club (Dietmar Hopp at Hoffenheim owns 96%). The rule says that where the parent members club opts to spin off its professional football operation into a limited company, the members club must retain 50% of the voting rights - plus one further vote - in that company. At Hoffenheim Hopp owns 96% of the football operating company, but only has 49% of the voting rights. 51% is held by the parent members club.

    The inability to achieve control does, however, act as a successful barrier to takeovers by people with no real interest in the club ... only someone like Hopp, who has been a member of the Hoffenheim club since his youth, would want to buy a football business that they could not formally control!

  • Comment number 14.

    Is it not the current political fashion to decentralise, to devolve power, to encourage self governing??
    So why would we want to bring the various sections of football under the same roof?

    If the Premier league, Football league and Football Association are blended together, all that will happen is that the strongest and richest will control the other two.

    As for Triesman, I wish he would just go away, king Midas in reverse....

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    Points 3 and 4 are a massive yes! The PL un English football not the FA and Rich owners are taking the clubs away from the fans!

  • Comment number 17.


    This is brilliant news.

    Football is now so detached from the very people who made it what is. The fans are now merely window dressing as an increasing amount filthy rich men parade around with their new toys. The Premier League is now the equivilant of yachts in the harbour at Monte Carlo or Marbella.

    People forget that there's 92 professional English football clubs and the majority of which have been thoroughly stuffed by the Premiership and it's greed.

    More over, there seems to be little care about the possible future distruction of the game in some of it heart lands. What kind of situation is preferable to have tin-pot clubs with Sugar Daddy owners likes of Blackburn, Wigan or Fulham (soon add QPR) playing in small empty stadiums while the likes of Forest, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United have to scratch around in the lower leagues because they can't keep up with these on fan base and passion for the sport game alone.

    Football, is one of our National Treasures and we should be protecting for the people that helped create it, not the people who want to make vast amounts of money out of it or the people who already fabulously rich and wish to have a play thing out of it.

    And you know what, if we can get this right, if we can stop the game being dominated by sugar-daddies, give it back to the fans (the ordinary man) and get the sport governed right. We might even get a competitive England team, now wouldn't that be nice.

  • Comment number 18.

    I have in the past rarely agreed with Bellion wonderland but here he makes good points.
    In response to the article
    1. Way too long to implement. Perhaps turkeys voting for Christmas? (A less charitable assessment could be snouts in the trough)
    2. Yes
    3. Yes. (Will it happen? No.)
    4. Yes. See Bellion Wonderland's point though
    5. Yes this needs to happen. Here I take issue with Bellion Wonderland in that whilst it IS illegal to restrict the individual's right to work etc. in any country it is NOT illegal to state that 5 (for example) of the 18 players in the match squad must be qualified to play for the relevant country. This number could increase over three years to 8. The clubs are allowed to buy whoever they wish but must keep a fixed number of places for home players. It would be possible to include "foreigners" brought into the Academy side and/or registered from age 13 (again for instance) as "home-grown".
    As an aside with regards to the recent transfer window activity. Why not introduce a "Transfer Cap" rather than a Salary Cap? Each European side can only spend a certain amount per year or be banned from entering European competitions. Example: A club buys Torres & Messi & Suarez for a total of £200 million. No problems but if the "Transfer Cap" was set at £50 million the the club would have to sell £150 million of talent within the accounting period.
    Just a thought

  • Comment number 19.

    Response to Torres is Blue:
    Why was the Premier League created? The answer was to improve the national game. That was the top most consideration when they put it together. Big questions were asked about why we were not winning as a national side and the Premiership was born.
    Next question, has England won any major competition? No!
    And the next, has England performances given us any inclination that they will win a competition in the near future? No!
    Has the purpose of creating the premiership been lost? Yes!
    Who is the premiership serving if not the national game? Itself!
    Suggestions are being put forward to look at options to improve the game. Everyone has been attacked and nothing of a positve note has come back. I would love to see independants at the top of the game. No direct ties to the clubs, their one and only objective is to improve the state of the national game. By having that one objective the rest, i.e. club performance, will come along too.

  • Comment number 20.

    Sorry David BUT the Government cannot intervene on football matters, it's against International law.

    Nigeria where banned from African Nations Qualifying last year by Fifa, because the Government intervened in the Nigerian Football Federation and tried to change rules, hence Scudamore's comments.

    I can't see how any level of muck chucking will force the PL's hand. People realise that watching and supporting the PL is like sleeping with the pigs, but yet we still don't mind getting a bit of muck on our backs.

    Plus most PL fans don't care about England anyway!

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.


    The PL wasn't created to improve the national team, that's a stupid thing to say.

    It was created to make the english game more marketable, both here and overseas.

  • Comment number 23.

    A couple of other questions they could look at (a dead ringer for Nick from the Apprentice by the way)

    Should penalties be introduced or increased for overspending, eg make relegation mandatory for admimistration.

    Should the clubs be able to vote on common sense issues (not playing Semi Finals at Wembley etc)

  • Comment number 24.

    It is clear that the Premier League as a business model is not self sustaining because it is heavily reliant on factors far removed from the interests of Football. To put it simply, the EPL could not survive in it's current form without the media companies such as Sky. Ultimately the EPL is a tool of the media.

    Football in the last 20 years has seen a shift from the traditional values we once associated with the game.

    Is the EPL competetive? Like any sport we would like to think it is but for all clubs, the prime goal is simply to be in the EPL. That is not competetive, that is survival.

    At a national level has our game has suffered because of the EPL? It has to because the EPL and therefore Sky have no interest in developing an England team as a major force in world football. Their interest is in club football.

    Football goes far beyond the EPL but we have found ourselves in an 'X Factor' situation. For most younger fans, the only real football is EPL, just as they see the artificial talent produced by X Factor type shows, as being the only type of music to listen to.

    Our game has been hijacked and something needs to be done, if not now, it will not survive as we know it.

  • Comment number 25.


    Just did some background checks on your comments and they are agreeing with you so I take back my comments to Torresisblue.

    Was listening to 5 Live on the way to work this morning and one of the interviewees, forget his name but recall he was a major player in the FA at the time of the premierships creation, was quite categorical on the reasons behind the premiership hence my stance.

    That said, how do we regain some power back from the premiership and make the objective the betterment of the national game. Or is this just a side issue and England should just live in hope that a set of great players will be around at the same time. I don't see a major competition win until something changes in our approach.

  • Comment number 26.

    So the government want to now put their oar into the water. Are they fit for purpose in football matters? They are not ito what they were elected to do, so find another diversion. Football needs them about like a moose needs a hat rack

  • Comment number 27.

    Triesman alleged that Russia were bribing referees to help Spain win the World Cup and in return that Spain would back the Russian 2018 bid. After Triesman resigned in shame, I recall Sepp Blatter and Jack Warner giving assurances that the England bid had not been adversely effected. In reality, after that the England bid was dead in the water. Triesman has a brass neck to appear in public and he has no credibility whatsoever. Triesman effectively cost us the chance to host the World Cup, and today he should apologise to the nation and get on his bike.

  • Comment number 28.

    "...the best English players may not consider it viable to stay in the premier league and instead decide to move abroad to teams such as barca or real, or even worse teams such as valencia. It would be the end of the age of english dominance in the european football and i doubt we would ever see the english national team win the world cup ever again"

    er I THINK NOT. Do you see clubs like Barcelona and Real swooping in to grab the best English players? English dominance in European football - what dominance is this - when did English teams last win a European Trophy - domestically or internationally. World Cup - England haven't not come close to a World Cup success since 1966 - any interference with the Premier League isn't suddenly going to make this less likely than it already is.

    Anyone with half a brain can see that football as we know it is knackered - players earning in a week what normal people would take 10 years to earn in a year. The Premier League justifies this because they greedily grasp at the money that Sky are throwing at them. Presume Scudamore is on a healthy salary.

    It's obscene. Football was around before the Premier League was here - I wonder how the clubs ever managed to survive before it was created...maybe they paid sensible wages and paid out what they could afford...

    That needs to get looked at first...

  • Comment number 29.

    Someone needs to intervene in the way football in run in this country. Almost everyone agrees that vast change is needed with the excpetion of the likes of the FA and Premier League. In my opinion this has been proven in the appointment in Bernstein. Just another one from the old boys club who follows the train of thinking as the people who elected them. The members of the FA have it too cushy, very high paid job for effectively not doing anything, what little they do actually do usually ends up being a bad move.
    The Premier League is a joke, any footballing body that believes the idea of the 39th game abroad is a good idea needs to take a long hard look at themselves. Trying to dress it up as a footballing decision and not a financially motivated one is just insulting. Everything is about money with them, even to the point where they will happily let war criminals take control of a club if it means they will open their chequebook.
    The game is in a pathetic state with these people at the helm.
    I dont hold much hope for change either though, we have heard all this before, committee's, recommendations on reform etc. Its just a case of simply throwing the public a bone for month or two to appease them. No one at the top really wants anykind of change.

  • Comment number 30.

    Swanseaexile - what we're getting at is the same point from different angles I guess. The PL is successful in doing what it's intending to do that's make as much money as poss. The PL doesn't care about England hence the point the author makes in that all should be under one leadership team.

    But the Government can't do anything about it, it has no power over any footballing matters.

    The reason that the PL is a success is that there is a market for it. If people don't like the PL then they can vote with their wallets and stop paying for Sky and going to matches.

    I can't see that happening tho.

    And David Bond should be careful what he wishes for as he is part of the media which fuels the PL and vice versa. Without the mass of interest in football, driven by the PL, the BBC may find fewer reasons to keep him and his colleagues in a job.

  • Comment number 31.

    dear swansea exile,

    like all successful entities, the premier league has evolved. it has become more than national football. it is bigger than england. we are watching the game played at the highest possible level on our door step.

    you are, probably, a sofa fan, so you will not know what it is like to watch players like torres, drogba, berbatov, fabregas, tevez and van der vaart live, and a only tube ride away.

    OF COURSE the premier league has improved, it is more competitive and exciting than any other top flight league in the world. look at Barcelona and Real Madrid. Real have won all but 9 games this season. and they are 6 point behind barca. that is not good to watch.

    teams like west ham and wigan make this league exciting. why?

    Carlton Cole. Scot Parker. Mario Melchiot, Franco Di Santo, Keane.

    What does this list of player mean??

    they are the players who have been replaced by big money buys from abroad at Chelsea and Spurs.

    Now, they can play for teams looking a relegation. This means, that the money brought in by wealthy owners like Levy and Abramovich SYSTEMATICALLY IMPROVES THE LEAGUE.

    It is clear that you know nothing about competition or efficiency because if you did then you would know that this only results in improvements in quality. If you think that a league of distinctly average english players will improve the national team then you are woefully dillusional. If you think that there is a plethora of english talent out there which the big nasty deceitful premier league, whose only aim is to neglect english players, refuses to use then i can only sit back and laugh at you. The best english players make it through to the best teams. The average players who would never make it to the national team anyway do not and end up where they rightly belong: in the championship or lower.

    Another point: just this morning. Frank Arnesen said that the transfers on David Luiz, and Torres did not hamper youth development of young english players, in fact, he said it was clear that the chance to play with these new stars, and the current stars at chelsea, like Drogba and Essien, both of whom were bought for big money from outside of the Premier league, was a huge incentive to stay in the game and keep training, day in, day out, as hard as possible. Not only that, but on skysports, he insisted that they would learn from the high class internationals.

    You say that english player don't get a chance at the top level, and that quotas should be made to reduce the number of foreign internationals, therefor the quality of the league.

    Don't you realise that this would not improve english players?? it would only LOWER the "top level" TO THEIR standard!!

    wake up, please, before you start endorsing things, who knows, you probably voted BNP in the last election because you liked their stickers.

  • Comment number 32.

    @ Ebeneezer Goode

    An English team won the Champions League in 2008 and reached the final the following year (2009 when 3 english clubs made up the final 4 teams)

    Last year was the first time in 5 seasons that NO English teams reached the final four.

    This season all English teams have qualified for the knockout rounds, with three of the winning their groups and one of them battering the reining champion's twice.

    That sounds pretty dominant to me.

  • Comment number 33.

    Of course there are factions within football, the amount of money at stake makes it obvious that there will be. Therefore, more than ever, the game needs people at the top who understand the priorities of the clubs but who have the best interests of the game as a whole at heart. A balance needs to be struck.
    It seems to me that sport goes out the window when any of the financially big 3 (sorry Arsenal & Liverpool) can go and buy any other clubs best player almost at will. M Platini is trying to address this but the clout of the clubs will inevitably result in a compromise that does little.
    If we want to see other clubs challenging for honours as in years gone by, and also in other leagues abroad which are dominated by the few big clubs then the only way is to level the field regarding what clubs can spend. Setting limits to what clubs can spend on transfers over say 3 seasons would be a start. It would reward budgeting, coaching, a coherent transfer policy, youth development and still let clubs make headline signing. The problem is it has to be implemented globally.

  • Comment number 34.

    Very interesting article and responses. However, rather than infighting about the where's and how's, surely the problem with the EPL is based on the vast amounts of cash sloshing around.
    I agree with Torres Is A Blue: so what if a club splashes £50m on a player if they can afford it? The point being IF they can afford it.
    The state of the EPL is mainly down to impatience, not greed. Not later but now. Its like dealing with a toddler.
    Restrictions should be placed on how clubs are operated. Outside of that, they can field 11 players from France, all under 21 if they want. But the continual robbing Peter to pay Paul will just result in more clubs the way of Pompey, Leeds, etc.
    And as for the England national team: I honestly don't care but if the players are good enough, they will be picked. The Dutch managed to make it to the final and the Eredivisie is exactly the greatest...

  • Comment number 35.

    I unfortunately think it is already too late for football as we have known it. The only way forward for the big clubs will be the Amerikan model of franchise sport. We have seen that already with MKDons. I think the top say 20 richest european clubs will form their own league in the not too distant future and play their league throughout those countries who have teams in the league. This will be financed by Murdoch. The ruling last week about SKY and football actually brings this idea closer. It allows him to be europe wide football sponsor. The rich clubs already want it all, and very little of the income gets divided with lower clubs. This way they can keep it all. All the new owners are not in football for altruistic reasons, but with this in mind. Problem for some of them though is only four clubs from the Premier league will get in. All other teams will be feeder teams full of players desperate to get into the money league. It will destroy FIFA etc initially as there will be little sponsorship money etc to go round. Ypu could even get the idea of cities without a team trying to buy ateam from the league like in Amerika. Not as far fetched as it sounds as football is business not entertainment any longer. That is what Lerner, the mob at Liverpool and Man Utd bring to the table. That is what they aspie to ..... MONEY, MONEY and more MONEY. This is really the best way forward to increase revenues for the elite, or they think they are elite.

  • Comment number 36.

    I don't understand why people keep mentioning foreign players are a problem with why are national side are not winning anything. If is complete and utter cobblers!! In the 70's and 80's when very few foreigners were playing in England we even failed to qualify for either World Cups or Wuropean Championships.

    The problem with are national side is that they just don't care and as some have said are too far removed from the avaerage fan in wages and also pride. With all professional players now they "kiss the club badge when scoring" which is meaningless as like we saw ths transfer window it in the end just comes down to money.

    Players don't play for a club and loyalty. That has gone out of the window. I don't like Ashley Cole but have to say I think he was the best English player at the world cup.

    It's players like Rooney we should get rid of and tell him to sit his fat backside on the bench until he gets some national pride. How can they also say they were bored during te World Cup!! This shows you of the lack of intelligence our players have!

    When the Rugby was just on you saw the players linking arms and singing the national anthem even if it was badly sung. Lets see just how many will actualy try and sing with pride. Maybe 1 or 2 at most.

    Something should be done about the FA. Everything should be ruled and come down through them but they are so outdated and living in the stone age you can't blame other organisations taking a leading role.

  • Comment number 37.

    #31. Nice rant TorresIsABlue about how the PL's model of injecting foreign talent helps English players play at the top level - and how anyone who disagrees either knows nothing about football or supports the BNP.

    Unfortunately, it is completely undermined by the facts: that as transfer spending has increased, England have not improved at all.

    World Cups pre-PL. 82 - 2nd round. 86 - QF. 90 - SF.
    World Cups post-PL. 94 - failed to qualify. 98 - 2nd round. 02 - QF. 06 - QF. 10 - 2nd round.
    (We also failed to qualify for Euro 2008.)

    Add to that the fact that we won a World Cup and produced arguably our best team ever 4 years later when we hardly bought a single foreign player, let alone naming starting XIs with 9-10 of them.

    Add to that the fact that English players transferring overseas are at an all-time low - indicating that foreign clubs don't want our players because our system doesn't make ones worth buying.

    Add to that the fact that your club has just sent out one of the best English striking prospects - Sturridge - because it only has room for its expensive imports.

    And add to that the fact that this isn't coming from a BNP supporter but a 2nd generatself-conscious

    Seriously, one thing life has taught me is those who accuse people of knowing nothing are just self-conscious.

  • Comment number 38.

    BTW that should read "2nd generation immigrant' above, in the second-last sentence.

  • Comment number 39.

    I am not sure fifa rules are the same as International law. So If the govt wants to interfere they can, but Fifa can then ban us from their competitions. (Not sure they would, it would effect their profits).

    I also have a bit of a bug bear with people who moan about us not qualifying in 74 & 78. There were only 16 teams in world cup finals then not like 32 now & also only about 8 places for european teams, so you had to be in europes top 8, not so easy. We lost to Poland who finished 3rd in the world cup in 74, when they had probably there best team ever. In 78 we lost on goal difference to Italy, who finished 4th I think. Even if they didnt they were a decent team.

    You cannot compare qualifying to a world cup then & now, because it is easier now. Dont bring up the splits to european nations ,though it means more nations & they are more patriotic, they also have smaller populations to pick from, so that kind of evens itself out.

  • Comment number 40.

    I expect a European super league outside FIFA, UEFA , FA and possibly govt regulation soon - possibly before 2020.

    High transfer and wages cost will mean the end of internationals. Could Russia host the first world cup without the top players?

  • Comment number 41.

    No foreign teams buy English players because they are vastly overpriced (Carroll) and generally sub-standard at best at football. English players dont really like moving abroad as they might actually have to live up to their hype without a disfunctional media system creating the illusion that they are up there with the best.
    For all the Premier Leagues power and competativness the best players still want to pull on the jerseys of Real Madrid and Barcelona. Even the likes of Milan and Inter still have more draw than the top English clubs, they just dont have the obscene money to pay the wages. English football is just full of complete mercenaries who will jump ship to a rival if a bigger wage packet is on the table.

  • Comment number 42.

    32. At 1:41pm on 08 Feb 2011, theyoungun wrote:
    @ Ebeneezer Goode

    An English team won the Champions League in 2008 and reached the final the following year (2009 when 3 english clubs made up the final 4 teams)

    Last year was the first time in 5 seasons that NO English teams reached the final four.

    This season all English teams have qualified for the knockout rounds, with three of the winning their groups and one of them battering the reining champion's twice.

    That sounds pretty dominant to me.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> thing in common with all the engish teams you quote: ALL COACHED BY FOREIGN MANAGERS (with the exception of spurs this season. lets see if they'll qualify next season)...hmmm all shopping around for foreign players

  • Comment number 43.

    1. Obvious, because those currently on the board have a cushynumber and don't want anything to change the status quo. The politicians will identify with this.

    2. Of course it is. We all know, we just like pretending that it isn;t the case.

    3. Yes, and we have always know it should be one body. Forget tradition. It hasn't done us any favours so far!

    4. Not sure how this might improve things, and not sure legally how this can be enforced on current club owners.

    5. Good question. Jury is still out on this one. As has often been pointed out, in the 70's and 80's we had almost no foreign players but still struggled to qualify for or make an impact in major tournaments, whilst our clubs were cleaning up in Europe.

  • Comment number 44.

    5. No, and I can't understand how anyone would think that would be a good idea. Newflash for fans of the England national team, you're country's national football team is not very good /rant. With the PL set up the way it is, it's perfect for young talent to come through provided that they are in fact good enough to play at the highest level. If you want a sucessful national team I think the problem is in the grassroots level of development, as if players aren't good enough to even get a sniff by the time they're at a good age then you can't seriously think that dragging the league down to their level could be anything less than counter-productive.

    Cashley, Lampard, Terry, Barry, James, Stevie and Rooney are all good players (sorry, can't bring myself to say great being a Gooner and all), so the problem (after spectacularly imploding in South Africa for the world to see) isn't necessarily with the quality of your players, as the press would seem to have you believe. Look past that and think about why countries like Slovenia (boy that was nearly embarassing) can perform so well as a national team, and yet England doesn't.

    Is it the culture? Club over country (Scholes being a sterling, but admittedly limited example), or something else? I don't live anywhere near England (Australia) so I don't think that I can thoroughly discuss or analyse reasons, but to those of us looking from the outside (amused as we are at your situation I'm sorry to say) it's abundently obvious that the quibbling over restricting foreign players in the PL is counter-productive and too little, too late.

  • Comment number 45.

    Ever considered that the conclusion that local player quotas will reduce the quality of the league is based on the current quality of local players being low - and this was caused by the very exploitation of the lack of quotas that you endorse, in the first place? Put another way, you are rejecting the medicine because you think the medicine is harmful, when actually the patient is sick because of a lack of medicine.

    If you examine the facts of what happened before the Prem, high proportions of local players don't hurt your competitiveness, it's the opposite - utterly necessary to even have a chance. England until the 80s had overwhelmingly English teams and consistently dominated Europe in the form of Man Utd (Busby Babes, Best era), Liverpool (Shankly, Paisley, Dalglish eras), Nottingham Forest (2 European Cups under Clough) and even Aston Villa won European Cups. The combination of the European 80s ban and unrestricted transfer imports mean that virtually every "English" success in Europe since has been accomplished with majority-foreign teams. It is the problem, not the cure. We used to play some of the best football in the world with local players - now they play for Wolves, unwanted even in their home country.

    As if you needed further proof, sides that win World Cups almost always have local-dominated leagues. Spain, Italy. Brazil and Germany run the international show, and they do not rely on foreign players like us. We are unique in the magnitude of this reliance, and you could say our local players have become uniquely disappointing.

  • Comment number 46.

    Heard Triesmans evidence to the Select Committee today and he comes across as a bitter little man who is still angry at the nature of his own demise. He is partly responsible for the World Cup bid fiasco and his comments today should be disregarded. Keep politicians out of sport.

  • Comment number 47.

    Everyone is quoting fact and figures from the past, saying, look at the team of '66, when there were no foreign players in the league...

    has it occured to you, that a). the league was a different beast then, and that b). it maybe just have been that that generation of english players were better.

    But then Mark033 point makes this ENTIRE argument irrelevant!!

    We have a fantastic team on paper! Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney, Ferdinand, Terry, A. Cole, Walcott, these are all fantastic players, proven in the Champions league (which i think think someone refered to as the highest level competition in the world).

    So CLEARLY, there is no problem at the heart of english football!!!!

    we just need to kick the media hype, get some players with heart and soul, and try again next year!

    if you look at our population, we do well to even get into the world cup.

  • Comment number 48.

    The Premier League will always try to restrict how much influence the FA has over it. Matters such as club vs country will ensue as well as level 2 - 4 teams trying to get a bigger share of the pot from the Premiership teams. Maybe one step forward is to allow teams to place their reserves into the football league as it happens in Spain and Portugal where a local team say Rochdale does it for Manchester United.

  • Comment number 49.

    The younggun, the last five years of the euro cup have been dominated by english clubs, however these mini dominations happen quite often, and doesn't really tell you anything, spanish clubs and italian clubs have all dominated at one point, but overall the euro cup as a whole has been dominated by italian and spanish clubs and 2 wins in 6 years for english clubs will not change that.

    And one more point spurs battered inter twice did they? I honestly thought they lost one of the games and won one. My mistake…

    One thing for certain is that the premier league has done nothing out of the ordinary for english clubs, it definitely hasn't attracted the superstars to england, but it has had a clear detrimental effect on homegrown players. The only thing is has been good for is making a lot of money for a few people.

  • Comment number 50.

    We need English teams to curb their spending and unfortuantly we cannot just wave the magic wand and make the whole thing happen. This seasons title race has just been so invigorating to the point that we have 6 teams with a good chance of still winning it. Unlike Holland, Spain, Scotland et al where just 2 teams seem to have the only shot at winning it, we for a period had just Manchester United and Arsenal have a chance of winning between 1998 and 2003.

    UEFA are in the right direction that there needs to be harmony stop clubs spending their way into debt to win trophies. There will be another Leeds or Portsmouth, Liverpool for example were weeks away until Hicks was on his bike. Referring to Bill Kenwrights comments yesterday about Evertons spending, you need to keep it unblemished and sensible. Everton know they might have more chance of winning a cup than the league and thats what they stick to.

    Foreign ownership should also be limited as I think there is an adverse effect on influence within the domestic game that can be unhealthy because with what happened in Portsmouth 5 owners in 1 year. They can run up the debt then leg it abroad and wait for it to simmer over before they start again. Defintly 49% maximum stake for one person and maybe a 10% ownership of overseas investors would be wise too.

  • Comment number 51.

    English football needs reform at the grass roots level. We encourage the agrressive bullying types to succeed and squash genuine talent. That is why the EPL buys overseas players.There are not enough English lads that make it through our system. The FA needs to sort out football coaching in schools - it is currently awful, and has been since 1066!
    The French, Germans, Dutch etc produce talent due their coaching in good non aggressive environments that starts in their schools and has nothing to do with the management or interference of their top leagues.
    Let's not attack the successful EPL. If something becomes too big and good in this country we all way in and knock it.
    The FA need to find away to make football skills cool, not always give way to the aggressive stronger lads that dominate school football.
    I like football with hard and fair tackling. We don't need the head butters.

  • Comment number 52.

    "An English team won the Champions League in 2008 and reached the final the following year (2009 when 3 english clubs made up the final 4 teams)

    Last year was the first time in 5 seasons that NO English teams reached the final four.

    This season all English teams have qualified for the knockout rounds, with three of the winning their groups and one of them battering the reining champion's twice.

    That sounds pretty dominant to me."

    1 win in the last 5 years, 2 in the last 10 doesn't sound dominating to me.

  • Comment number 53.

    "This season all English teams have qualified for the knockout rounds, with three of the winning their groups and one of them battering the reining champion's twice."

    Which one bettered the reigning champions twice? Once you mean?

    Anyway that aside, the game as we know it is kaput - players, agents, chairman, (practically everyone in society in fact) are obsessed with money and so greedy.

    Can't wait for the Sky money to eventually dry up and everyone brought back down to earth.

  • Comment number 54.

    The game needs serious fixing. Amongst other things, it can't be right that clubs lower down the divisions are facing extinction for a tax bill not far off an average PL player's monthly salary.

  • Comment number 55.

    The premier league is a business, just as the major sports in America are businesses. They should be run and regulated as such. In particular proper financial regulation is required, so that the boom or bust culture is eliminated. The regulation should also limit the number of games a club plays per year, and put some controls on how players can be forced to play in circumstances which are likely to cause them injury. The Premier league should ultimately transition into a european wide league. National teams should not have priority over PL teams for the services of the players. The players have contracts with their clubs. FIFA should not be a profit making organisation. At the moment, World Cup and the like are simply printing wealth for the "honest men of Zürich" allowing them to construct their Palace above the lake and live a life full of luxurious cars and best hotels. Similar with UEFA and Pasha Platini. Similarly with the FA. If the FA is reaally there for the sport, they can focus on the national game (i.e. not Premier League) and be a charitable organisation staffed by volunteers, rather than profit making organisation

  • Comment number 56.

    The best start they could make would be to get rid of Dave Richards and Richard Scudamore.
    Richards is responsible for the demise of Sheffield Wednesday. All of the companies he's been involved with have failed. How can this man be considered in any way competent to be in charge of the national game? He's an embarrassment to the game and an embarrassment to the City that is the Home of Football.
    Together, the two of them are guilty for some of the biggest stitch-ups in the history of sport.


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